Did you know that in the US, most people wear their shoes in the house? This is especially important to think about when we consider the fact that the average shoe has about 400,000 units of bacteria on it (including E. Coli, which most likely comes from fecal material). These bacteria then get tracked all around the house and can lead to diseases.

How can you create germ-free floors? Don’t worry; it doesn’t require a hazmat cleaning crew. Instead, follow these simple tips.

Remove shoes when you go inside

Consider starting a new practice in your home, in which you and your housemates, family members, and guests remove shoes before stepping inside. This will not cut down on germs entirely because research shows that shoes also harbor germs on the inside. However, the average amount of bacteria on the inside of a shoe is far lower (about 2,000 units of bacteria instead of 400,000 units of bacteria).

Clean Hard Surfaces Frequently

Hard surface floors don’t trap quite as many debris and germs as carpets, but they still accumulate bacteria, viruses and junk that needs to be cleaned at least once a week. Use a broom or vacuum to get the surface layer, and more substantial objects, like pet hair. Next, use a wet cleaning solution that works for your flooring. The aim goes deeper than merely creating a shiny looking floor. Your purpose should be to eliminate bacteria and other harmful substances. Now MICROBAN has made it easier to keep bacteria low on flooring with new technology in conjunction with Phenix Flooring. Watch this video to see this technology at work

Vacuum Rugs

Rugs have deep crevices, between the individual fibers, which need to be vacuumed. Studies show that vacuuming can release substances that have been sucked up, like bacteria and molds, and release them back into the air.

If someone in your household suffers from allergy attacks, you may want to invest in a HEPA vacuum filter so that you can avoid creating air pollutants when you vacuum. Once a month, consider steam cleaning your carpets or hiring a service.

Wash Area Rugs

Area rugs are more accessible to clean than wall to wall carpeting, because they can be picked up and placed in a bucket or tub of warm soapy water.

Steam Clean Hard Floors Once A Month

Sweeping, vacuuming and mopping may not be enough. Microbiologist Philip Tierno of the New York University School of Medicine reported to Business Insider that he steam cleans his floors once a month to sanitize them.

How clean are your floors? These five tips can help you cut down on bacteria. You and your family will feel happier and healthier, and your floors will look great, too! Slip off your shoes before walking into the central part of the house, and make cleaning the floors a part of your weekly and monthly routine.